U.S. Census Bureau Manufacturing and Construction Division Residential Construction Branch (301) 457-1321 Building Permits Survey Sample Data and Documentation
This documentation contains the following files: README.PDF NEWORDER.PDF The file you are now reading. Ordering Information Package - Price lists and order forms for building permit data. Order Forms are also available as separate 2-page files form1.PDF, form2.PDF and form3.PDF. STATEPRT.PDF Documentation for printouts of building permit data by State, Division, Region and United States total. Documentation for printouts of building permit data by Metropolitan Area (MA). Documentation for printouts of building permit data by individual permit office, with county totals. Documentation for ASCII file of building permit data by State. Documentation for ASCII file of building permit data by Metropolitan Area (MA). Documentation for ASCII file of building permit data by County. Documentation for ASCII file of building permit data by individual permit office. Definitions of codes used for types of construction. Documentation for building permit imputation procedure.
Documentation listed are in the Portable Document Format (PDF). In order to view these files, you will need the Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader which is available for free from the Adobe web site. http://www.adobe.com/.
Sample Data Files: ST9812C.TXT ST9812Y.TXT ST1997A.TXT MA9812C.TXT MA9812Y.TXT MA1997A.TXT SO9903C.TXT SO9903Y.TXT SO9903R.TXT SO1998A.TXT 2000 Forward New Files CO9909C.TXT CO9909Y.TXT Current month county estimates. Year-to-date county estimates. Sample current month State estimates file. Sample year-to-date State estimates file. Sample annual State estimates file. Sample current month MA estimates file. Sample year-to-date MA estimates file. Sample annual MA estimates file. Sample current month place level file. Sample year-to-date place level file. Sample revised cumulative place level file. Sample annual place level file.
The data files are comma delimited ASCII files which contain a header row that identifies the contents of each cell. These files can be imported to most spreadsheets and databases. To allow importing to some packages, the filename extensions are “.txt”. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------**Detailed Example For Importing Permits Files to Microsoft Excel: There are many different software packages for file management. For this example, we will use Microsoft Explorer. Open Microsoft Explorer (should be under Start-Programs - may be known as Windows NT Explorer) Under the left window, called "All Folders", click once on the C: drive icon. From the pull down menus at the top, click File-New-Folder to create a new folder, and name it C:\Permits.
Put the sample disk we provided in the A: drive. Under "All Folders", double click the A: icon to see all files on this disk. Highlight all files on the sample disk, click in the highlighted area and drag these files to the "C:\Permits" folder. Double click on the "C:\Permits" folder to see the files now stored on your hard disk. If you do not see the filename extensions, such as ".txt", and ".pdf", click on the pull down option "View", select "Options", and click on the box next to "Hide File Extensions" to remove that checkmark and then select "OK". Run Excel Click File - Open Under "Look in" go to the folder, C:\Permits Next to "Files of Type" select Text Files Double click the text file you want to open, ST1997A.TXT for this example Select "Original Data Type" of delimited Click "Next" Click Button next to "Comma" for delimiter Click "Next" Select FIPS State column and select "Column Data Format" of text (this will allow the table to retain the leading zeros and not change the codes to numbers.) Click "Finish" You now have a spreadsheet of 1997 annual building permits by state. To Import E-mail Permits Files: From your e-mail message, copy the attached files to the “C:\Permits” directory specified in the preceding section. Proceed with the Excel instructions